On 18 May the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect held the 2021 Evans-Sahnoun Lecture on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The 2021 Evans-Sahnoun Lecture explored the relationship between international justice and R2P, as well as the historic importance of ensuring accountability for atrocities. At a time of unprecedented crisis and uncertainty in global politics, achieving justice for atrocity crimes has been challenging, forcing members of the international community to be innovative in developing new mechanisms to ensure accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Opening remarks were delivered by H.E. Ms. Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN. The keynote address was delivered by Ms. Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Her remarks focused on the intersections between R2P and international justice and the crucial role played by the ICC in ensuring perpetrators of atrocities are held accountable. Following the keynote address, a distinguished panel provided brief reflections and answered questions from the audience. The panel featured Chief Prosecutor Ms. Fatou Bensouda; Ms. Karen Smith, UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect; and Mr. James Kingston, Legal Adviser at the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland. The panel was moderated by Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.
The Evans-Sahnoun Lecture was initiated by the Global Centre to honor the contributions made by Australia’s former foreign minister, The Hon. Gareth Evans, and renowned Algerian diplomat, Mohamed Sahnoun, to the development of R2P. The lecture series provides an opportunity for eminent public figures to share their experiences in the field of mass atrocity prevention, international diplomacy, justice and human rights.